Taking open world platforming to a new level, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood brings the saga full circle as Ezio Auditore De La Firenze returns to complete his journey in dashing and daring fashion. Only this time he is not alone. Read on for the full review of Ubisoft‘s latest instalment of this masterful trilogy.
With our swashbuckling ‘Italian Stallion’ returning to take centre stage in this twisting and turning tale of murder, assassination, political intrigue and betrayal, to name but a few of the plot’s characteristics, the scene was always going to be set for a triumphant homecoming for a certain young Ezio Auditore, but even our expectation’s where surpassed as we became ever deeper embroiled in the exploits of the daring assassin. Ubisoft have outdone themselves with this masterpiece of stylish cinematic gaming.
Carrying on the tradition of slick, fast-paced gaming of panoramic open-world proportions, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood see’s us stepping into the familiar loafers of barman Desmond Miles once more, as well as the highly sheened riding boots of Ezio Auditore De La Firenze, the hero of the second outing of the classy three-parter. We start the third outing in Ubisoft’s classic trilogy in the familiar surroundings of the Auditore family villa at Monteriggioni, with the young assassin returning to the fold of the family estate to seek sanctuary after the events of Assassin’s Creed II. It is from this point that we learn the true reasons for the traumatic sequence of events that took place in the final chapter of the second in the best-selling series, as we see the main protagonist in the story, the evil Cesare Borgia, ( “Boo!”- Ed. ), laying siege to the Auditore’s ancestral home with the help of a treacherous servant in their midst.
companion’s and assassin’s as they seek to escape the clutches of the pursuing Knights Templar. In their haste they flee to the ruins of the Monteriggioni stronghold, and it is from this point that we join up with Ezio again, through a series of flashbacks that are felt by Desmond as his time in The Animus continues to allow him to develop his skills away from the memory-inducing machine. With the secrets of the lost Apple of Eden being ultimately the object of all parties desires, it is from these final memories of the assault on the villa that Desmond and his companions learn the truth regarding the fate of the artifact, as during the siege the ‘Apple’ was stolen by the villain of the piece, none other than the aforementioned Senor Borgia himself.
Deep and twisting and utterly compelling this storyline may be, but this is merely the introduction to what is one of the far superior tales that have graced the gaming industry for many a day. It is also where we are going to stop our in-depth description of the goings on contained in the game, as even though we have the full 100% completion for the game, as we could simply not put the controller down once we had set out on the tale of epic proportions, we are not in the habit of littering our reviews with spoiler alert after spoiler alert, so much so that after reading the review it feels pointless to go out and purchase the title for fear that you have already experienced all that the game has to offer.
And what this game has to offer is a lot!
What we will do is go into our usual routine of outlining the details and the experiences that lie in wait for you in Ubisoft’s awesome third part of the Assassin’s Creed Trilogy, and give you the lowdown on why this has to be in your stocking come Christmas morning.
Right from the word go with Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood you know you are going to be in for an eye-popping experience on an unprecedented scale as you open up your area map and are greeted by a huge ‘clouded’ expanse that you must unlock to fully experience and complete all that the game has to offer. Using familiar control’s that have been the same since we were first introduced to Altair by Jade Raymond ‘back in the day,’ we are once again treated to a visually spectacular open-world experience that will see gamers leaping from rooftop to rooftop in never bettered platforming bliss, as we scale heights untold to observe the vista’s and panoramic scenes of classical Rome below before plummeting in a graceful swan dive to the safety and security of the obliging haystacks below.
There is so much to do in the single player campaign of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood that it will keep you fully entertained and enthralled for a good two weeks of solid gaming if you chase the 100% as indeed we did. It is the reason that the review has taken so long to come to fruition, and that in itself should stand as a true testament to the sheer amount of cracking content that is contained in Ubisofts’ top-notch title. Unlike some reviewers we actually like to get the games that we are asked to review completed before we offer up our opinion of the game, otherwise all you have is conjecture and guesswork, as well as half-baked reports based on half-played titles. We would rather wait an extra day or three to bring you the truth, than rush out a review in a race for views and get it all wrong.
With that statement, if you are a fan of the previous outings in this epic trilogy then be fully warned that you are going to be calling in sick to work on more than one occasion as you get to grips with some of the best gameplay that it has been our pleasure to experience this year.
Regardless of rumours and reports of tearing and the occasional frame rate drops on the Playstation 3 version of the game we are here to tell you that nothing will dampen your spirits as you play through this game, especially not an intermittent blemish, in what is otherwise, an absolute flawless performance from Ubisoft. From the myriad side missions, to the collection of your collectibles across lovingly crafted architecture, that will leave you breathless when you come to amass your Landmark Plaques, the game never let’s up for an instant in its constant bombardment of your sensory sweet spots as you are spoon fed one stunning location and scene after another from the generous hand of the games developers. No need for any Oliver Twist style requests for more here, after filling up on the visual banquet that is Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood you will not even be able to nibble at even one more handsomely decorated sculpture or tapestry clad hall, such has your appetite for gorgeous graphics and seemless gameplay been taken care of.
There are, of course, some twists to the tale of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood involving many of the games main NPC’s, however, as we stated before we are not in the business of ruining games for the buyers and these will be made fully aware to you once you purchase the game and enjoy all it has in store for you. All we will say is put a cushion on the floor in front of you otherwise your jaw will be feeling a little delicate the next day.
We can tell you that when Ubisoft called the third part of their Assassin’s Creed series ‘Brotherhood’ that they meant exactly what they said. You are now able to recruit and train your own band of assassin’s, now that you have been promoted up the ranks of the Assassin’s Guild, and with that you get to despatch your band of merciless murderer’s across Europe to complete contracts on behalf of the Guild before you then decide how best to reward your fledgling killers as you upgrade their talents and skills as well as decorate and dye their uniforms.
Ezio’s talents are truly staggering to behold also, as you have more new weaponry from your old friend Leonardo Da Vinci to master, as well as some sparkling new outfits to adorn and moves to impress the giggling courtesans with. There are also new enemies to encounter, who in turn have their own new outfits and armaments and these make for capable opponents throughout the game, and in particular the side quest to obtain the coveted armour that lies at the heart of The Tomb of Romulus.
The single player will easily keep players entertained for a good twenty to thirty hours, but if you are going for the full completion to unlock the fabled ‘secret outfit and weapons’ then you will have to put in some considerable effort if your trials and tribulations are to be justly rewarded.
When all is said and done the single player of the Assassin’s Creed Trilogy has always been at the heart of the franchises success and the third outing in the highly entertaining series of titles is no exception. A truly awesome game that will see players begging the developers for additional downloadable content, and wondering if there will be a continuation to their favourite Ubisoft title? We can be hope. Requiescat im Pace.
Bearing in mind that we have just laid out what could well be one of, if not the, best stories to be found anywhere in gaming in 2010 you may be forgiven for thinking that is all that Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood has to offer. How wrong you would be. Ubisoft have managed to do with their title what it seems that a whole host of other developers, of titles that are mainly ‘single player’ experiences, have failed to do, and that is to successfully transport their first-rate campaign title over to the multiplayer arena. Many have tried this year alone, all have failed. All, that is, with the exception of Ubisoft. The multiplayer had to be one of the things that scared me the most about this title when it was announced. I instantly thought to myself, “Here we go again” as I envisaged the single player campaign playing second fiddle to the multiplayer, as the developer tried to cash in the game’s success and the lucrative online modes that awaited should a transformation actually be made possible. However all my doubts and fears were swept aside like the unfounded and baseless worries that they were, as what I actually got, when I logged in to the online modes ,was an outstanding third person action game that took place over stunning settings with some of the most innovative adaptations to already highly successful multiplayer modes that I have ever witnessed. ( Dead Space 2 should be taking notes ).
The multiplayer of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is an absolute delight to behold, and we hope that the modes and the excellent gaming experience get the credit and the players that they deserve, as anything less would be a tragedy of truly grand proportions. The modes are varied but the gameplay contained therein is, thankfully, similar, as you are tasked to assassinate a target alone, or as part of a team, whilst simultaneously attempting to thwart the murderous intentions of your opponents as they seek to slip their own stiletto’s between your shoulder blades. What you have in the multiplayer is more the ‘thinking mans’ gameplay. As far from being the Renaissance rendition of a Call of Duty style ‘Run and Gun’ what you have to do is use your skills and your patience, as well as your wits and intelligence, if you are to be anything like victorious. The only words that spring to mind when asked to describe the multiplayer experience of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood are ‘intense’ and ‘compulsive.’ You can, as would be expected in a game of this genre, upgrade your equipment and abilities, such as adding the Eagle Vision to identify targets and enemies, as well as the superb ‘Disguise’ to alter your appearance thus eluding your dangerous and deadly pursuers. All in all the multiplayer is a monumental success and should be regarded as such, and experienced and enjoyed by all.
Graphics: The most visually impressive title to grace gaming in 2010. Sublime settings with stunning renders that leave the player with a true sense of the time in which the title was set. Everything that is on offer has such attention to detail that other developers in the genre should hang their heads in shame. Nothing has been left to chance, from the rouge on the courtesans flushed cheeks to the awe-inspiring tapestry’s that hang on the wall’s of the Pantheon itself, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood has taken the bar for gaming visual’s and not just raised it a couple of notches but had an extension created to place the setting at its new level. Truly jaw-dropping stuff, luscious and lavish and long may it continue. 10
Gameplay: With more things to do in it than several of its competitors packed onto one disc, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood looks, and plays, better than anything else in its class. Easy to handle, familiar control set up’s make for an enjoyable experience whether you are new to the series or a true Assassin’s Creed Apostle. With more side quests, objectives, collectibles, missions,contracts, feathers, flag’s, Templars and trials than you could care to shake a stick at this is one title that delivers on the promises and hype made by the developers, in every department. Absolutely incredible and non-stop in its action. 10
RePlay Value: Considering that it has taken the review team almost a full week of solid gaming to achieve the 100% completion rating then I think that we can safely say that the vast majority of gamers out there will be playing the game on their first play through for some considerable length of time. There is just so much to see and do in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood that by the time the first DLC for the latest title is announced you may just have got through the game. But will you want to do it all again? Is the Pope Catholic? Is Ezio Auditore a bit of a ladies man? Cracking stuff. 10
Presentation: The complete package, and then some! Ubisoft have done the unthinkable and managed to create a gaming trilogy where every title is even better than its predecessor. How they have managed this is beyond us, and nor do we really wish to know what trickery and magic created this. All we want to know is when is the next one? And why doesn’t our review score go up to 11? 10